A meeting between trade unions and the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) came to an abrupt end today as the union delegation whipped out placards during the engagement.

According to the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), the meeting was brought to an end just as a presentation by the Corporation’s Finance and Marketing Director was being conducted. During that interaction, the unions’ delegation – which included members of the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) – donned their placards.

The Corporation, according to GAWU, “almost immediately” objected; contending that placards were not allowed on the Company’s premises.

“Both the GAWU and the NAACIE pointed out that our respective delegations were not disruptive to the meeting. In fact, our delegations remained present in their seats listening attentively to the presentation. At no time, were the GuySuCo team prevented from speaking. The Corporation nevertheless insisted that we abandon our placards. Our Unions, on principled grounds, refused to put away our slogans.”

GAWU said that it informed the officials of GuySuCo, that the Freedom of Expression was a sacred and highly-held constitutional right.

“We prevailed on the Corporation for better sense to prevail and for the meeting to continue. GuySuCo, nevertheless, decided to disregard our sincere and valid contentions and went on to abandon the meeting. Our Unions, as concerned stakeholders, were eager to engage the Corporation on its plan and cancellation of the meeting, by the state-owned company, was an unfortunate development,” the union reported.

The union said that it will continue to advance demands in the coming times regarding a pay rise for workers.

“The continued denial of wage/salary increases will not be helpful to the industry. Already workers’ spirits are daunted and while they continue they seek to give their best, the situation has greatly impacted their commitment.”

The GuySuCo representatives included Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Harold Davis, Finance and Marketing Director, Paul Bhim, among other officials. The Unions delegation comprised of 30 workers and union officials.


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